For nearly half a minute, they could only hear the sound of the wind.
[Progress: (+2) 24%]
Han De felt Ning Bi’s hands tugging on his clothes. Her eyes were closed.
<Master, there is a strange sound coming from all around when I close my eyes. I never heard a sound before...>
<Open your eyes, ignore it for now.>
Ning Bi looked at him and nodded. Han De could tell she was disturbed, originally he wanted to talk to his mother or grandfather about it, but at this moment he could do neither.
A small figure flew from the Ming Palace and came near Long Xiu. They couldn’t tell this person's cultivation, but from the regal movements and the exaggerated dress he was wearing, it was obvious that he was the emperor.
“Long Xiu, what is the meaning of this?”
Ming Emperor was a well-informed man. He knew never to cross Long Xiu, more so than the Starfall Mountain sect or the Han family. His deal with Han De was made in front of Han Wei. They knew about his cultivation and the purpose of his descendants. This tacit understanding was why he tolerated making a deal with a junior in the first place.
Ming Emperor looked at the flagship far behind the Long Xiu. He immediately spotted Han De and the people around him. One of them, in particular, caught his eye. This woman with her Ancient Realm cultivation could fool others, but not the emperor. Her brown looking eyes were actually red, just like the Han De’s disciple near him.
A bitter smile appeared on Ming Emperor’s face. He knew about his son’s encounter with an Ancient Realm expert. Connecting the dots was easy. This expert grabbed the body of his son’s previous lover and reported it to the Han family. The red eyes meant that she was part of the Blazing Sun family. He started chuckling.
“I see… So this was your plan all along… You think I will idly stand by when someone tries to cut my path? Even if that is you, I still have enough strength to take everyone else with me. Including your son…”
Han De slapped his forehead with his palm. There was no turning back from this.
* * *
Far away to the west, Yuan Zemin and the sect leaders he had gathered felt the disturbance in the fabric of space. They were in a meeting to discuss their best options for a decisive strike. The sect masters looked toward the direction of the disturbance with weird faces.
“The Ming capital… They started already…”
Yuan Zemin’s whisper caused everyone to solemnly nod. They all had different reasons for being there, but even those that wouldn’t mind another intersection, wouldn’t want another Breach that came along with it.
* * *
Transcendent experts inside the flagship took formation in a panic. Cultivators of the lower realms were steering the flagship away. Han De’s lackeys took action and forcibly moved him and his disciples to the center of the top deck.
Formations installed on the flagship were many times stronger than simple walls, and they required space to set up. The center of the top deck was the only suitable place on the flagship. All of the lower decks had layers upon layers of supplementary formations that supplied the main formation with more spiritual power. It was by far the safest place on the flagship.
The space twisted around Long Xiu as she continued to release her aura. Ming Emperor’s words had broken the last bit of hesitation inside her.
“Every second will turn into a thousand years. You won’t even be able to lose your sanity. I will make sure of it.”
Ming Emperor’s face was ashen, he knew words had no meaning anymore. During the assassination attempt, he couldn’t use his full power. But Long Xiu was different. There was no chance of him escaping, there was no chance of him winning. There was no need to restrain himself anymore. Why would he care if the world was devoured?
Once their clash started, the people on the flagship could only see the aftershocks. No one had the cultivation base to actually see their movements or techniques. The ripples around the space clashed with each other. Sound waves from their attacks hit the flagship and caused it to gain speed. Even under the formation, the banging was deafening. Han De knew that even from this distance if he was outside the spiritual boat, he would be long dead.
The ripples continued to crash against each other. Finally, a tear was formed. The Transcendent expert’s faces turned solemn. As the ripples increased in intensity, the tear started to expand.
*Crack* *Crack* *Crack* *Crack* *Crack*
Among the deafening bangs from the explosion waves that were hitting, clear cracking sounds could be heard. After less than a minute of fighting, the fabric of space was torn to pieces. Countless netherworld demons started to pour from the cracks. But as they entered, they were disintegrated from the aftershocks. After all, basic netherworld demons would only be at the Core Formation stage.
Unfortunately, the cracks started to expand, Han De and others could see the black, starless sky behind the cracks. As they got bigger, they started coalescing. Cracking sound disappeared, but they were replaced with a loud shrieking sound.
The flagship was retreating at full speed to the west. Tens of thousands of experts with hostile auras suddenly appeared on the distance and started closing in. Everyone’s attention was still on the Long Xiu and Ming Emperor battle, but Transcendent Experts and Han De were extremely alert and noticed them immediately.
Han De’s chin dropped. Behind them was his crazy mother fighting the emperor and opening a Breach in the process. Countless shrieking sounds accompanied their explosion waves. While in front of them thousands of high realm experts were emitting killing intent against them.
‘This day couldn't get any worse. Am I going to die like this?!’
He couldn’t get a voice transmission to his mother, even if he could, the Ming Emperor was on her tail and wouldn't allow her to leave.
Han De's escape items were useless for the experts they were facing. They could only make a stand.
“Activate all offensive formations!! Reduce the intensity of the defense formations at the back!! Send a message to the sect!! Continue at full speed and don’t steer away!!”
With Han De’s shout, everyone moved rapidly. While this flagship was from the Starfall Mountain sect, after the incident with Han De’s orders, Long Xiu removed all of the sect elders and disciples and replaced them with the Han family members. To these people, Han De’s word was the law.
Yuan Zemin looked at the scene in front of him and clenched his fists. He never wanted to see another sight like this ever again, but fate seemed to disagree with him. The sect masters near him also had unsightly faces. The memory of the last Breach was still fresh in their minds.
They were expecting the entire Starfall Mountain sect, or perhaps the Han family, but seeing the flagship puzzled them. Obviously, this wasn’t an attempt at escaping, otherwise, they wouldn’t have this few experts on the ship. The intensity of the fight was alarming as well. Even a permanent Breach didn’t need this level of power.
The sect masters looked at Yuan Zemin. This Ancient Realm expert had mentioned the possibility of a new intersection, but no one really took it seriously. But it seemed they were wrong.
<<Take positions. We will take out the spiritual boat first.>>
The Alliance experts stopped moving forward and stood their ground. As the flagship of the Starfall Mountain got closer, their faces got weirder. This was a flagship, so it was natural for it to have strong formations. But this was…
<Senior brother Zhu… Isn’t this...>
The one called senior brother Zhu was also baffled. This spiritual boat seemed to be filled with offensive and defensive formations to the brim. It looked normal a few moments ago, but now that the formations were at full power, everyone could see it and sense it.
The abnormal sight caused the alliance experts to drop their mouths, but they were quickly brought back to reality. Only 20 seconds after the activation, the flagship started firing at them from long range, while still moving towards them.
The few Nascent Soul experts that couldn’t dodge turned to dust. Yuan Zemin gritted his teeth and finally brought out a spiritual jade communicator from his storage ring. After a few seconds of contemplation, he infused then crushed it. His message was sent. He could only hope that his instincts were right, and his old sect master was on his side.
The lackeys were calm and determined. This was a calamity scenario that their young master had mentioned before. Old Peng communicated the plan with the Han family expert that was in charge, including all of its variants. The experts agreed that this ‘shock and awe’ tactic invented by their young master was their best choice. If they ran away, their formations would continually lose power by the shockwaves from behind and they would have to eventually fight the enemy anyway. If they had to fight, it would be better to fight at their peak condition.
Han De looked calm and collected from the outside, but of course, he was actually deeply panicking. Ning Bi at this side had entered a stupor ever since the cracks coalesced.
Yao Qing and Jin Shu were also inside the formation with him. The latter was concerned, but the former strangely looked mesmerized.
After shaking his head, Han De tried to concentrate. Going through his options was unfortunately not only unhelpful, but it was also strengthening his sense of despair. None of the items on him or the tokens provided by the System could do anything. He realized he couldn’t even use a teleportation item.
The space around them was unstable and there was a hole behind them. Using a teleportation item now would only cause them to fall into this hole. A death sentence.
He could summon a heavenly tribulation. He had two very reliable methods. Perhaps Yao Qing could control the lightning strikes, but the extent of it was unknown. She was only at the Qi Condensation realm anyway. Logically speaking, she probably wouldn’t be able to stop a tribulation completely. Another death sentence.
The hostiles were finally in range, they started attacking the flagship without delay. Different from the increasingly dull but still very strong shock waves coming from far behind them, the attacks of the hostiles in front of them could only make muffled ding sounds.
Transcendent Experts immediately moved outside the formation. They ignored the smaller realm experts below and focused on the sect masters that were closing in fast. Lower realm Han family experts, along with Han De’s lackeys engaged the closer enemies.
Although their realms were much lower than Long Xiu and the Ming Emperor, the space around them was already unstable. The attacks of the Transcendent caliber started creating tiny ripples too.
“Activate the secondary attack formations!!”
Han De’s bunker design was based on 3 layered attack formations along with unlimited defense formations. The flagship followed this design to the letter. It had long, medium, and short-range offensive formations while the rest of the space was used entirely by the defense formations. Once the mid-range attack formations were active, the air on the deck turned oppressive.
The formations targeted the Immortal Realm experts first. Anyone that couldn’t dodge started burning and dropped to the ground. Their screams joined the increasing shrieks coming from the now fully formed Breach.
The number of Transcendent experts on the Han family side was lower than the enemy, but due to their incredible skill, they were evenly matched even when outnumbered. Sadly, the difference in the numbers between the mid-realm and low-realm experts were too much. Once the flagship finally hit the center of the group, these experts freely attacked the defensive formations. The attacks were blocked, but just the light from the hits was enough to block all vision.
“Activate the short-range attacks, now!”
The final layer of the offensive formations caused the entire ship to vibrate as they activated. Han De was watching everything with a concerned expression.
As the wounded experts were healing, others were taking their place in the rotation. Han De saw everything was working like clockwork and started gaining a faint hope.
‘So far so good, maybe we can actually breakthrough. We might have a chance once the sect elders are here. Yes, they should be arriving any minute now…’
******** CRACK ********
A new crack spanning from the center of the battle to the current location the flagship appeared. The sky went dark and the outlandish stars could be seen from the cracks. The countless shrieks caused the battle around the flagship to stop. Han De instinctively looked behind and his face went white.
<<Increase the strength of the rear def->>
His lackeys were already on it even before the voice transmission, but they failed to increase the power of the rear formations in time. The shockwave hit the flagship and caused it to tilt first, but the force was too much and a crack formed in the middle of the ship and caused it to split in two at the formation lines. The spiritual boat was just too big, and the original material was just too brittle against the power of the shockwaves.
At the time Han De didn’t realize it, but if the defensive formation was at full power, not only wouldn’t it do anything against it, but the core of formation would explode as well.
The flagship started to crash, the formations were deeply connected to each other and the majority of them couldn’t work without the delicate arrangements. The core defensive formation was intact, but Han De realized it couldn’t stand the impact of the fall. He quickly removed his speed-focused Core Formation sword from his storage ring and moved his disciples.
[Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture requires 114 Profound Points to advance from Master level to the Grand Master level]
[Heaven Defying Tyrannical Scripture (Heaven II)]
Power: Very Weak
Comprehension: Grand Master
Stage: Core Formation (Mid-Stage)
[Upgrade Complete! Congratulations! Your self-created martial arts has reached Grand Master comprehension level!]
[Issuing Bonus 200 Profound Points]
[Immortal Sentinel Scripture requires 393 Profound Points to advance from Beginner level to the Grand Master level]
[Immortal Sentinel Scripture (Mortal)]
[Power: Very Weak]
[Accuracy: Very Low]
[Defense: Very Weak]
[Mastery: Grand Master]
[Profound Points: 451 -> 144 ]
Massive amounts of information entered Han De’s brain. For a few seconds, he couldn’t even move while trying to sort out his thoughts. The flagship was still falling while Han De and his disciples stood in mid-air on his sword and were visible for all to see. Before Han De could start a divination he heard a scream.
“HAN DEE!!!! YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO XIAO LANN!!!!”
The scream came from far away, the experts that were locked in combat couldn’t even spare a glance. Anyone under the Unity Realm that wasn’t inside the flagship died from the shockwave alone. The Immortal Realm and higher could shake the effects and continued to fight in the sky, but there was a new problem. Netherworld demons that were pouring out of the newly formed crack.
‘F#$%, this guy really has MC timing. F#$% me…’